‘Election extension slowed down APC’s momentum’
Spokesman of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Lagos State, Joe Igbokwe agreed that the postponement of the election slowed down the party’s momentum but that it will not be denied of victory. Seye Olumide reports.
Effects of the postponements on the APC
If we had held the presidential elections on February 14 2014 as scheduled by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), PDP would have been history in Nigeria by now. All the security agencies in Nigeria did a combined report and told President Goodluck Jonathan that if he allows the election to hold on February 14 2015, he may not score up to 20 per cent of the votes in the 36 states of Nigeria including Abuja.
Now what did the PDP do? They sent the National Security Adviser to the President, Alhaji Sambo Dasuki to Chatham House London to fly a kite that because a lot of people were yet to collect their PVCs, Federal Government may ask for an extension so that people will collect their PVCs.
Nigerians saw the danger coming and APC raised an alarm that PDP is planning something sinister. The world was alerted that President Jonathan and PDP may bungle our hard earned democracy. We later learnt that the Service Chiefs wrote to INEC that given the insurgency in the North East, they may not guarantee elections in the troubled areas.
Yes, that extension slowed down our momentum but we accepted it knowing fully well that to them, six weeks is just like six hours. To us, we feel it is just like postponing the victory day. It hurts us that PDP postponed our victory and tried to waste our precious gift of time but we will defeat the PDP on March 28 2015 in a free and fair electoral process, all things considered.
The APC’s fear of military troop deployment for polls
We have seen soldiers deployed before in Lagos and we know they did their job creditably and honestly. They were just interested in maintaining peace and orderliness. Nobody was harassed and nobody was intimidated. They were firm, resolute and committed. But given what we saw in the Ekiti scandal and the brigandage and impunity we saw in Osun state, we cannot trust the Army now to supervise this election.
Brigadier General Momoh was deeply involved in Ekiti state scandal and invasion and up till now, he has not been invited for interrogation or questioning. Again given the desperation of President Jonathan and PDP to remain in power at all cost, we will be naive and stupid to think that they will play the game according to the rules.
The military’s success against insurgency and Jonathan’s rating
We want the lost territories recovered and the Chibok girls brought home safely. But the successes recorded by the army recently after the PDP got six weeks extension of election and the body language in Abuja suggests that something is wrong somewhere and the PDP may be playing politics with the lives of Nigerians in the bid to score cheap points.
Come to think of it, the insurgency that has been with us for six years and led to the death of thousands of Nigerians is what PDP led Federal Government said it is going to address in six weeks.
Why has the army not been doing what it’s been doing now in the past six years? Why did we fail to provide the tools they needed to do the job? Why did we fail to motivate the army of Nigeria known for courage and bravery? Why are our soldiers fighting hard now few days to the election? We are worried that the lust for power is endangering our hard earned democracy. It is beclouding our sense of reasoning.
I urge Nigerians to ask questions on what is going on in the North East. Chance of APC in Lagos State If honest and intelligent leadership is the benchmark for the 2015 governorship election in Lagos, Akinwunmi Ambode is the next governor. If performance is the criteria and the parameter to judge, Ambode has won this election and if experience and knowledge is the yardstick to judge, then the man should be the governor-elect.
The great performance of both Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Governor Babatunde Fashola has placed Lagos strategically on the map of the world. Lagos is now a destination and a place to be. APC has made Lagos the economic hub, the centre of excellence, the pace setter, a huge economy as big as that of Ghana, Cameroun, Ivory Coast, Senegal etc. Lagos is now the most secured state in Nigeria, the pride of Nigeria and Africa. APC government in Lagos has shown that Nigeria is not a hopeless and helpless case. APC has shown in Lagos that good governance is possible in Nigeria.
Ndigbo’s vote in Lagos
I am aware that the APC in Lagos is having some problems with Ndigbo in Lagos because of the President Jonathan factor. PDP and Jonathan have been pumping a lot of money into Lagos and Ndigbo is the target. They are telling our people several lies just to sway them to their side, but I know Ndigbo will not forget the past in a hurry. I know there are intelligent Ndigbo in Lagos that will not be deceived by these antics of playing money, ethnic and religious politics. I know that a segment of Igbo in Lagos say they are going to vote for the PDP candidate but I want Ndigbo to do what will make their host happy and by so doing you make friendship and peaceful co-existence possible. Once this is achieved we will see peace and progress. There may be problems but I know that things can get better. I have worked with the leaders of the Yoruba nation for years and I know what they want and what will make them angry. Lagos is the second home for Igbo and they have made great success here.